News24

Nato: Plans ready to defend Turkey

2012-10-09 18:42

Beirut - Nato is ready to defend alliance member Turkey amid artillery and mortar exchanges with Syria, its top official said on Tuesday, as Ankara sent additional fighter jets to reinforce an air base close to the Syria border where tensions have escalated dramatically over the past week.

Turkey and Syria have exchanged fire across their common border since errant Syrian shells killed five Turkish civilians last week, sparking fears of a wider regional crisis.

The comments by Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen were the strongest show of support to Ankara since the firing began on Wednesday - though the solidarity is largely symbolic.

Turkey has sought Nato backing but not direct intervention and the alliance is thought to be reluctant to get involved military at a time when its main priority is the war in Afghanistan.

Right to defend

Ahead of a meeting of Nato defence ministers in Brussels, Fogh Rasmussen backed Turkey's right to defend itself.
"Obviously Turkey can rely on Nato solidarity," he added. "We have all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary."

"We hope that all parties involved [in the Syrian crisis] will show restraint and avoid an escalation of the crisis," Fogh Rasmussen said.

Nato officials said the plans have been in place for decades and were not drawn up in response to the Syria crisis. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the press.

In an address to lawmakers from the ruling party, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Ankara will continue retaliating for attacks from the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Continuous response

"Every kind of threat to the Turkish territory and the Turkish people will find us standing against it," Erdogan said. "Soldiers loyal to Assad threw shells at us, we immediately reacted and responded with double force. We shall never stop responding."

Analysts say Syria appears to be intentionally escalating tensions along the border with Turkey to send a message to its northern neighbour that it will pay a high price for its support of the Syrian rebels, hoping that will deter any foreign military intervention in the 18-month-old civil war.

At least 25 additional F-16 fighter jets were deployed at Turkey's Diyarbakir air base in the southeast late on Monday, Turkey's Dogan news agency said, quoting unidentified military sources. The military's chief of staff inspected troops along the border with Syria on Tuesday.

The reinforcement of the Diyarbakir base also bolsters Turkish forces along the volatile Iraqi border. Turkish jets struck Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in two separate cross-border raids on Sunday despite recent warnings from Baghdad against any military operations on its territory.

Iraq

Turkey has frequently struck targets in northern Iraq of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which seeks autonomy for Turkey's Kurdish minority. Relations between Turkey and Iraq have also been deteriorating over a Turkish decision to shelter convicted Iraq's Sunni vice president on charges of running death squads.

Activists estimate more than 32 000 people have been killed since March 2011 when the uprising against Assad's regime began.

Initially, regime opponents launched a wave of peaceful protests that were met by repeated attacks by security forces, and the conflict has gradually turned into bloody civil war that has prompted tens of thousands of civilians to flee Syria. The fighting has devastated entire neighbourhoods in Syria's main cities, including the northern city of Aleppo.

Syria's government has always blamed the uprising on what it calls foreign terrorists.

Responsibility

A Sunni extremist group called Jabhat al-Nusra claimed responsibility for an attack on Syrian air force intelligence compound in the Damascus suburb of Harasta on Monday evening.

A statement on a militant website by the group's media arm, Al-Manara al-Bayda, said the bombing aimed "to avenge the killing of Muslims and those who suffered injustice".

The Syrian state run news agency did not report the explosion and there were conflicting reports on how badly the compound was damaged. There were no official reports on casualties, but the pro-government Al-Ikhbariya channel said on Monday the blast was heard across Damascus.

Syrian rebels are increasingly targeting security compounds and symbols of the regime in and around the capital.

Jabhat al-Nusra said it sent two suicide bombers to hit the compound, which it called "a bastion of tyranny and injustice". The compound, headed by Major General Jamil Hassan, a top Assad security aide, contains prisons where activists say hundreds of people have been held and interrogated by security services during the uprising.

Casualties

There were fears that detainees inside could have killed or wounded in the blast, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group. It said that so far it could not confirm casualties from its sources on the ground.

One woman who has a friend currently imprisoned in the compound said she is concerned. "I don't know whether he still alive or he died from the explosion ... I pray to god to save him," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of harassment from authorities.

On Tuesday, a roadside bomb attached to an electricity pole detonated as a packed commuter bus passed by in the Damascus neighbourhood of al-Zablatani neighbourhood, injuring a civilian, a Syrian official said.

The official blamed "terrorists," the regime's term for rebels. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Out-gunned

Rebels frequently complain that their weapons are no match for the military's artillery and fighter jets. The British Broadcasting Corporation said it had uncovered evidence that appears to suggest that weapons intended for the Saudi military have been diverted to Syrian rebels.

Three crates from an arms manufacturer, addressed to Saudi Arabia, were seen by a BBC correspondent in a base being used by rebel fighters in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo.

The BBC said it was not allowed to film their contents.

Meanwhile, two Syrian rebels said that seven military and intelligence officers belonging to Syria's ruling Alawite minority have defected to Jordan. The rebels said they helped the seven cross into Jordan on Monday, and that the highest-ranking figure among them was an army colonel.

Defections by Alawites, who make up the backbone of Assad's regime, are relatively uncommon. Almost all the defections have been from Syria's Sunni majority, who dominate the rebellion.

Three other Alawite intelligence officials came to Jordan three weeks ago, said the two rebels, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the Assad regime. Jordanian officials declined comment.

The new arrivals join more than 3 000 other Syrian army and police defectors who are housed in a secret Jordanian desert installation. The Syrian regime has seen a steady stream of defections in recent months, including former Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who broke with the regime and fled to Jordan in August.

Comments
  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-09 19:34

    "Defections by Alawites, who make up the backbone of Assad's regime, are relatively uncommon. Almost all the defections have been from Syria's Sunni majority, who dominate the rebellion." This is key. It's tantamount to defections from the ruling Nationalist Party under Apartheid.

      mikel.kiparski - 2012-10-09 20:26

      AND THEY DID DID THEY NOT

  • johan.jacobs.33821 - 2012-10-09 19:35

    Here come's another libya.

      jans.opresser - 2012-10-09 19:42

      no,russia will defend their ally syria! nato and america have already been warned by putin that if they attack syria,russia will turn turkey into shards of glass! it is the al-qaeda rebels who are firing into turkey to provoke turkey and nato into removing assad by force! they will fail! is it worth it to risk WWIII just to continue a lie that the rebels in syria are freedom fighting democrats? the answer is no! russia already has their ships and soldiers in the area! I hope they blow up nato HQ FIRST!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-09 20:05

      Ohhhh, here comes Jans, aka thatcrazedbrotherfromnewyork, The most violent radical bullsh.tter on these sites !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-09 20:49

      Jans is supportive of the neo-Communist autocracies that arm unelected dictators brutally oppressing citizens of their countries just because they want to vote.

      jans.opresser - 2012-10-09 21:09

      fred,THE FOREIGN INVADERS in syria are NOT citizens of syria,so they do not have the right to vote in syria! but they will get killed for invading a sovereign nation based on jihad and sharia law!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-09 21:54

      Jans, aka thatnastybrotherfromnewyork, STOP fantasizing, and accept that this assad monster has lost te war !!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 00:02

      The "foreign invaders" make up just 5% to 10% of those fighting to remove the unelected Assad from power.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-10 15:28

      Johan, ""Here come's another libya."" You are right !!!!!! Syria will be another country freed from tyranny!!!!!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-10 17:17

      Only cause the West has engineered it,as they usually do when it suits their purpose.One day they will be held to account,more than likely in a world that is dominated by China,India,Russia and Brazil the new world order waiting in the wings to do a better job of helping the world be a better place!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-10 17:36

      Dankie, What a blessing for Africa, that you live in a fantasy world, for otherwise MILLIONS more AFRICANS would die from starvation and sickness!!!!!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-10 18:10

      @farthonyfromafrica Millions of Africans are dying right now from disease,pollution from greedy oil companies in Nigeria,unscrupulous mining companies and foreign aid that is being cut back cause they can't manage their own economies with integrity!When last I looked the Chinese where investing in infrastructure in Africa for long term posterity for the Africans,not short term gain for Western companies pockets.You as usual are blinded by your infatuation for all that is West especially uncle sam!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-11 03:01

      What a mish-mosh of wrong thinking, Dunkie.

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-09 19:38

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-rebel-army-theyre-a-gang-of-foreigners-8073717.html From wikipedia : "it was reported that 600 rebel fighters have gone from Libya to Syria in order to support the rebels" here's more: "Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri condemned Assad.[31] Several groups, such as the Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade, al-Nusra Front and Fatah al-Islam[32] have stated that they conducted operations in Syria. Jihadist leaders and intelligence sources said foreign fighters had begun to enter Syria only in February 2012" "Syria's U.N. envoy Bashar Ja'afari declared that dozens of foreign fighters from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Britain, France and elsewhere had been captured or killed, and urged Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to stop "their sponsorship of the armed rebellion"" - What kind of revolution is this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_involvement_in_the_Syrian_civil_war#Support_for_the_opposition

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-09 19:47

      Tom 93764539466430274554893 NOBODY is disputing that there are some foreign liberation soldiers in Syria, 20 here, 35 there, and , another 10 in another village...... But the FSA, cosisting of Syrians, is the backbone of the armed oppostion. The revolution is by the Syrian people against a FIFTY YEAR DICTATORSHIP !!!

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-09 20:13

      20 here, 35 there, and , another 10 in another village. you just defined the opposition. You think there's an actual army roaming around? The FSA is an umbrella term..

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-09 20:52

      So? What's the point. Libyan fighters have gone to Syria to help the Syrian people free themselves from a brutal, unelected dictator who is preventing them from voting, just like Gaddafi was doing to them.

      jans.opresser - 2012-10-09 20:53

      anthony, ANY foreign invader in another country is just that! a foreign invader! that means that any citizen from the said country is aiding and abetting a foreign invasion of their own country! assad has the right to use any weapons at his disposal to rid his country of any foreign invader,be they chemical or conventional!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-09 21:00

      Delusional and sick. Syria is a sovereign country run by an unelected, illegitimate government. The vast majority of the countries on Earth have so decided. Jans the oppressor disagrees. Stands to reason.

      jans.opresser - 2012-10-09 21:07

      so fred based on your lies,ANY foreigner can walk into syria and claim that they are a "syrian rebel" AND WAGE WAR AGAINST THE GOVT!? your lies have no end! what part of the rebels are FOREIGN INVADERS do you not understand? if you believe in the al-qaeda rebels so much,why dont you go and lead the assault against assad?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-09 22:01

      Tom, 74946936453984567394, Like a good member of the violent loonies, you twist and turn any comment, so that it will suit your silly and childish anti Western crap. """20 here, 35 there, and , another 10 in another village. you just defined the opposition. You think there's an actual army roaming around? The FSA is an umbrella term.""" WHO do you think has cut off the main highway between Allepo and Damascus ???????? The FSA is a liberation army, cosisting of 60000 Syrian soldiers defected from assda'd terrorists army !!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 00:14

      Based on my lies? Which lies? Assad is using Syria's military to destroy anyone who wants to vote. He has an unfair advantage and is doing wrong. The freer world is not helping. It therefore follows that people from neighboring countries who went through the same thing would want to help. It also follows that wrong elements would try and take advantage of the situation for their own goals. Bottom line is that Al-Quaida is in the small minority. It really is a mystery, even silly, that you're focusing on 600 Libyan fighters. The Syrian army is 220,000 strong.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-10 17:23

      @jams.opressor don't waste your time with these two idiots,fred.fraser.12 and anthonyfromafrica(notice I don't use caps like he does in his title) these two liars and blasphemers,they just are not worth your good effort..ignore them they are twisted delusional freaks!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-10 17:38

      Dankie, Dankie, for keep reading my comments, Dankie !!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-10 18:12

      @farthony.fromafrica.12 you wish I was reading your stupid insulting comments but really I am just reading other peoples contributions just cant help noticing your drivel!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-11 03:06

      Liars and blasphemers? What does blaspheming have to do with anything Dunkie? And where exactly am I blaspheming?

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-09 19:50

    I tink here,defence = offence.

  • ivan.schoultz - 2012-10-09 20:14

    Are Syria, Jordan and Israel about to revert to Turkish control? by Benjamin Fulford 10-8-12 The passing by the Turkish parliament last week of a law authorizing war against Syria may be part of a secret plan to restore Middle-Eastern peace by placing Turkey in charge of the region. This would mean putting Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and maybe Iraq under Turkish rule as a part of a loose confederation of countries that have, for many thousands of years, been part of the same cultural tradition. Only the Luciferian state of Israel has the military ability to stop Turkey but since it is fast losing the financial and moral support of the Jews, it would probably agree to join a loose Turkish federation rather than lose all military and financial support from outside of the region. This would mean the Rothschild plan would blow up, and the political map of the Middle East would revert to something similar to what prevailed before they took over the Federal Reserve Board, started World War I and got the Balfour Declaration signed. In the US, meanwhile, Pentagon and agency sources say that key leaders of the Sabbatean sect or Khazarian mob are being systematically apprehended and cut off from all communications with the outside world. read more: http://kauilapele.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/benjamin-fulford-10-8-12-are-syria-jordan-and-israel-about-to-revert-to-turkish-control/

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-10-10 09:52

      I have never read bigger nonsense than this in my life. You are insulting people's intelligence.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 16:47

      Who's "putting Turkey in charge of the Middle East"? Sky Daddy?

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-09 20:20

    How is "a roadside bomb attached to an electricity pole detonated as a packed commuter bus passed by in the Damascus" not terrorism. The media refuses to admit most of the rebels are no better than the terrorists in Iraq. Yet the exact same thing occurs, targeting of police stations, civilians etc. Call them "terrorists" in Iraq and "rebels" in Syria.

      mikel.kiparski - 2012-10-09 20:44

      and SIR what do you call an unmanned DRONE flying over your head monitoring your cellphone and computer READY 2 ZAP YOU

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-09 20:50

      A police state?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-09 20:54

      That's just plain stupid, Tom. While elements of the Free Syria Army are doing terrible things, the vast majority are fighting a good fight against the unelected dictator and his brother, who are in control of the Syrian state and its military, and want to hold onto power. For now.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-09 22:06

      """The two tossers Anthony and Fred speak with nothing to offer but CRAP. Both enjoying having a USA dildo stuck up their behinds, climaxing every 5 minutes whilst jerking themselves off.""" Patrick 05 Oct 2012 THIS IS PATRICK SPEWING OUT FILTH; HOW CAN ANYONE TAKE THIS GUY SERIOUS!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 00:22

      Patrick, I didn't say, "you're plain stupid Tom". I said, "that's plain stupid Tom". There's an important difference that you're still missing. You on the other hand said, "that scum Fred". Now that's an insult.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 08:24

      Unfortunately you're not being smart enough yet to see the difference, Patrick.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 08:32

      That too is not an insult.

  • philhaj - 2012-10-10 08:26

    There will never be peace again in Syria,Assad will go and whoever comes will be worse than him thats when Imam Mehdi(google him please) will come and fight the holy battle which is going to involve everyone else...as prophesied America/Israel will be defeated in a nuclear battle.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 08:32

      Not going to happen. The outcome has already been decided. We're making our way towards it. It's positive. The future becomes the present, then the past.

      philhaj - 2012-10-10 08:39

      i dont get your point and i wish i could understand you.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 16:50

      We're in an age-old evolutionary process of creation, maintenance and destruction. We're in the destruction phase where the old ways are being destroyed, broken down, to make way for the new. New doesn't mean perfect. It means better. The better-than-the-old outcome has already been decided. It's been put out there in our future. We are making our way towards it. The future becomes the present, then the past (unless we take the past and put it into the future, which then becomes the present).

  • luyolo.mhlauli.9 - 2012-10-10 08:31

    Sum of us have said all along that NATO wants to get involved to do regime change. It has nothing to do with saving Syrian people. The mortars that landed in Turkey are and always will be a false flag attack. Why would I(Asaad) attack Turkey if I wanted to still cling on to power ?

      luyolo.mhlauli.9 - 2012-10-10 08:35

      I mean there I am wanting to rule till the end of time. Then I go and commit suicide by attacking a NATO member Turkey. Use common sense people. The people that will benefit from this are the same ones that have attacked Turkey. What does Asaad stand to gain from this ?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-10 10:19

      Luloyo, ""Why would I(Asaad) attack Turkey if I wanted to still cling on to power"" WHY would he ( Acid ): Fire rockets from tanks into apartment blocks? Shoot life munition from gunship helicopters at women and children?? Drop bombs from aircraft, on unarmed civilians, standing in a que to buy bread. WHY-----WHY-----WHY-----WHY----WHY ??????????????????????????????????

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 16:56

      Luyolu, again, you have to let go your anti-West prejudice to see a truer reality. NATO is not in Syria. It could not have launched the mortars. The Free Syria Army could have, to instigate Turkey and NATO to help them. They are heavily outnumbered and outgunned. The unelected dictator of the country and his brother are using the Syrian military 220,000 strong against the citizens of their own country, killing, maiming, detaining, torturing and raping by the tens of thousands. Assad and his brother could be reaching a state of desperation of paranoia, launching the attacks themselves. In desperation humans can do anything for survival. And lastly they could have been launched in error by the Assad regime. After all, it did apologize after the first one. You overlook this too. NATO countries are not reacting. They are waiting to uncover the truth behind the attacks.

      luyolo.mhlauli.9 - 2012-10-10 20:15

      Do you see a plan to investigate or a plan to defend Turkey ?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-11 03:12

      My sole interest is freedom from tyranny and oppression for the Syrian people.

  • ali.kutlu.14473 - 2012-10-10 11:17

    This site is proving that how people may have an idea without knowledge. Please, learn how Assad family treat his own people first and then discuss. I recommend you to read this article first, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama_massacre . It is about a city which bombed and some says 80K people killed. Some people still do not know Assad was saved by Erdogan when Us invaded Iraq, b.cause Bush wanted to sort out Assad at that time. Assad s last hope is causing an international conflict to divide his country and protect his wealth. By the way, I also do not like invasion of the countries or western imperialism at least as much as yourself but I do not support monsters just to oppose Us and its alliances. The war actually last hope of militarists to take the control of Turkey again. So do not worry even if Syria shoots 100 s of planes , if Erdogan has a brain with the size of peanut, does not declare war against Syria.It is gonna be a political suicide for him.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-10 16:59

      "Western imperialism" is a sham, a costly one imposed on young, immature South African minds by our academics. How far would Asia have got had it adopted the same pseudo-victim mentality? Nowhere. Like where we're going, the longer we hold onto it.

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